Kilimanjaro Route Success Rates

Kilimanjaro summit success rate

Summit Success Rates for Kilimanjaro Routes

Lemosho Route Summit Success Rate

The 8-day Lemosho route climb has a superb summit success rate of about 90% while the shorter variation of 7 days has a good summit success rate of 90%. The longer, the better, you have a higher chance of summiting if you use the longer variation.

Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route starts below the Shira Route, allowing trekkers to more easily acclimatize before it crosses the Shira Plateau and then joins up with the Machame Route.  Some operators may offer this in as little as 6 days, but Mount Kilimanjaro Routes only offers a minimum of the 7-Day trek on Lemosho to maximize your safety and chance of success.

Lemosho Route Description

The Lemosho Route also begins from the west side of Mount Kilimanjaro, running just below the Shira Route.  Starting much lower than Shira, climbers are able to gradual increase in altitude and greatly reduce their chances of experiencing altitude-related symptoms from the start.  Although Lemosho is becoming more popular due to its very high summit success rate, it still has slightly less foot-traffic than other routes.  It eventually meets up with the Shira Route at Shira Camp 2.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  If you wish to add an extra day, it is best spent exploring around the Barranco Camp, where you will spend the 2nd night.  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in a higher success rate.

Lemosho Route Duration

8 days trekking from Moshi
6.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation of Lemosho Route

37 mi/60 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km descent
Ascend from Londorossi Gate (7,380 ft/2,250 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
13,435 ft/4,095 m total gain.


Machame Route Summit Success Rate

7 Day Machame Route itinerary has a considerably higher summit success rate of about 85%. Compared to the 6 Days Machame route that has has a lower average summit success rate of about 75% compared to the 7-day route

Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route often referred to as the “Whiskey” route, is more scenic and is longer.  The minimum duration for this trip is 6 days. Mount Kilimanjaro Routes highly recommends making the Machame Route a 7-day trek for extra acclimatization.

Machame Route Description

Machame is one of the most scenic routes that wraps around the south and southwest sides of Kilimanjaro.  You will ascend up one way and return down another.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  If you consider yourself a more adventurous hiker, this route will suit you and it also offers better views than the Marangu Route.  Beautiful Shira sunsets, the great Barranco Wall, and the Lava Tower are some of the highlights.  After reaching the Lava Tower (15,190 ft/4,630 m) on day 3, you descend to sleep at Barranco Camp (12,690 ft/3,950 m).  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in this route having a higher success rate.

How many days does the Machame Route take to climb Kilimanjaro?

7 days trekking from Moshi
4.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation of the Machame Route

62 mi/100 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km
Ascend from Machame Gate (4,890 ft/1,490 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
14,450 ft/4,405 m total gain


Marangu Route Summit Success Rate

The 6-day Marangu Route records a low summit success rate of about 50%! Since climbers tend to rush to reach the summit. Skipping one extra acclimatisation day can significantly lower the average success rate of 50%.

Marangu often referred to as the “Coca Cola” route, is Kilimanjaro’s shortest and easiest route.  Because of this, it is also the most popular route.  The minimum number of days for a Marangu trek is 5 days and is offered by many tour operators.  In an effort to ensure your safety and summit success, Mount Kilimanjaro Routes only leads a 6-day trip using the Marangu route.

Marangu Route Description

Marangu is the only route on Kilimanjaro with solar-powered sleeping huts.  You will also find comfy beds at every camp.  The huts are shared by all climbers on the route and their bunks are equipped with a sponge mattress and pillow.  The huts at Mandara and Kibo each have 60 beds and the busiest camp, Horombo Hut, has 120 beds.  The lower two huts have bathrooms and running water.  Basic outhouses are available at the last camp.

The dining huts are a communal melting pot of trekkers from all over the globe.  You may purchase soft drinks, bottled water, and beer at the huts, so bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items.  Note that the prices increase the higher you go.

How many days does the Marangu route take to climb Kilimanjaro?

6 days trekking from Moshi
4.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation of Marangu Route

20 mi/32 km ascent, 40 mi/ 64km
Ascend from Marangu Gate (6,000 ft/1,830 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return
13,340 ft/4065 m total gain


Rongai Route Summit Success Rate

The summit success rates for the 7 Days Rongai Route is a good 80% compared to a lower 65% for the shorter 6-day route variation of the Rongai Route.

The Rongai Route is thought to be one of the easiest Kilimanjaro routes.  It typically has very little foot traffic compared to the other routes. The minimum duration for this trip is 6 days and Mount Kilimanjaro Routes, as always, highly recommends adding an additional day for acclimatization, making the Rongai Route a 7-day trek and increasing your chance of success.

Rongai Route Description

The Rongai Route is much easier than the Machame Route and more scenic than the Marangu Route.  Consider that and Rongai Route’s very high success rate and this might be the route for you.  It is also the only route that begins from the Northern side Mount Kilimanjaro.  This will require a 4-5 hour drive to the park entrance, which perhaps contributes to this Rongai being one of the least travelled routes.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  The Rongai Route meets up with the Marangu Route where you will make your summit bid.  Following your summit climb, you descend on Kilimanjaro’s southwest side using the Marangu Route, giving you the chance to capture multiple view-points of the mountain.

How many days does the Rongai Route take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

7 days trekking from Moshi
5.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation of the Rongai Route

27.5 mi/45 km ascent, 22.5 mi/36km
Ascend from Nale Muru (6,400 ft /1,950 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft /5895 m) and return to Marangu Gate (6,000 ft/1,830 m)
12,940 ft/3,945 m total gain


Shira Route Summit Success Rate

Since the Shira route begins from a very high altitude, it does not offer the best profile for acclimatization. the 7 day Shira Route itinerary offers a good summit success rate of about 85%.

Kilimanjaro’s Shira Route crosses the Shira Plateau and then joins up with the Machame Route.  The minimum duration for this trip is 6 days, but due to the high altitude of the starting point, Mount Kilimanjaro Routes only offers a 7-Day trek on the Shira Route.

Shira Route Description

The Shira Route begins from the west side of Mount Kilimanjaro, just past the Lemosho Route starting point.  Starting much higher than Lemosho, some climbers may experience altitude related symptoms on Day 1.  The route traverses the Shira Plateau, whose ridges and moorland make up one of Kili’s most picturesque areas.  Even the drive to Shira offers up spectacular views of Mount Meru and the impressive Great Rift Valley.  You will enjoy the dramatic changes in vegetation along this route.  The road to Shira is only accessible by 4WD vehicles and during the wet season, it may become impassable.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  If you wish to add an extra day, it is best spent exploring around the Barranco Camp, where you will spend the 2nd night.  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in a higher success rate.

How many days does the Shira Route take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

7 days trekking from Moshi
5.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation of the Shira Route

32 mi/52 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km descent
Ascend from Shira Gate (6,000 ft/1,830 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
13,435 ft/4,095 m total gain


Umbwe Route Summit Success Rate

The Umbwe Route has a summit success rate of between 60% and 70%, however, you are more likely to summit successfully if you give yourself an additional day for acclimatization.

Kilimanjaro’s Umbwe Route is a steep, spectacular, and direct route to Uhuru Peak.  The minimum duration for this trip is 6 days.  Mount Kilimanjaro Routes highly recommends making the Umbwe Route a 7-day trek for extra acclimatization.

Umbwe Route Description

It is steeper and sometimes slightly exposed and because of this, the route is less travelled.  If you are fit and used to walking through mountainous terrain, this route is suitable for you.  Like the Machame, you will ascend up one route and return down another.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  If you wish to add an extra day, it is best spent exploring around the Barranco Camp, where you will spend the 2nd night.  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in a higher success rate.

How many days does the Umbwe Route take to climb Kilimanjaro?

6 days trekking from Moshi
4.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent

Distance Covered and Elevation

27 mi/43 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km
Ascend from Umbwe Gate (5,905 ft/1,800 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
13,435 ft/4,095 m total gain

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